The Week

Rita McIntyre (left), mother of Maceo Smith, talks to a police detective right after her son was shot to death near the Douglas Parking Lot in broad daylight Tuesday.
Riya Bhattacharjee
Rita McIntyre (left), mother of Maceo Smith, talks to a police detective right after her son was shot to death near the Douglas Parking Lot in broad daylight Tuesday.
 

News

Death of UC Berkeley Student from Fall Likely Accidential, Police Say

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 20, 2008 - 07:21:00 PM

Autopsy results from the Alameda County Coroner’s Office show that UC Berkeley anthropology student Alan Kaname Hamai, who fell from the third story roof of his apartment building a day after he graduated, died as a result of unforced trauma from a fall, authorities said today (Tuesday.) -more-


Suit Challenging LBNL Plans Gets Day in Court Tomorrow

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday May 20, 2008 - 05:00:00 PM

Foes of building plans included in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) get their day in court Wednesday. -more-


Commission Holds Special Meeting on Downtown Plan

By Richard Brenneman
Monday May 19, 2008 - 04:34:00 PM

Planning commissioners take up two parts of the new plan for downtown Berkeley Wednesday night, including proposed city staff changes for both the historic preservation and economic development chapters. -more-


Fleeing Motorcyclist Hits AC Transit Bus, Bicyclist in Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday May 19, 2008 - 04:34:00 PM

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is investigating a hit and run incident in which a motorcyclist collided with an AC Transit Bus and a woman bicyclist on Ashby Avenue Sunday night. -more-


UC Berkeley Graduate Found Dead in Front of Apartment Complex

By Bay City News
Sunday May 18, 2008 - 10:24:00 PM

A 22-year-old man was found dead on a city sidewalk Saturday, one day after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, a Berkeley police lieutenant confirmed today. -more-


Reader Report: Demonstrators At U.C. Graduation Call Yoo War Criminal

By Henry Norr
Sunday May 18, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM
Mary Ervin of Oakland, one of those who demonstrated against John Yoo at U.C. graduation ceremonies, carried a cardboard replica of an M-16 rifle.

If Professor John Yoo, the Boalt Hall community, and UC Berkeley administration didn't know it before, they surely do after today's graduation ceremonies: there's a large and growing movement demanding that Yoo be held accountable for providing pseudo-legal rationalizations for the Bush administration's torture policy. -more-


Flash: B-Tech Senior was Shooter, Says Principal

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 16, 2008 - 05:05:00 PM

The 17-year-old student from Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) who was shot Thursday a few blocks from school underwent surgery and his injuries appear to be non life-threatening, authorities said Friday. -more-


Freeman Arraigned on Murder Charges in Durant Avenue Murder, Tensions Spill Over into Court

By Bay City News
Friday May 16, 2008 - 05:23:00 PM

Tensions were high as Nathaniel Freeman was arraigned on murder charges today (Friday) for the shooting death of Oakland Parks and Recreation employee Maceo Smith one block south of the University of California, Berkeley campus Tuesday afternoon. -more-


Berkeley Families Celebrate Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 16, 2008 - 05:08:00 PM

As news of the California Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision affirming same-sex marriage broke Thursday, gay and lesbian couples in Berkeley declared victory. -more-


Barbara Lee Asks USDA to Oppose LBAM Spray

By Judith Scherr
Friday May 16, 2008 - 05:04:00 PM

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Berkeley-Oakland, has added her voice to those calling for a halt to plans to spray for the Light Brown Apple Moth [LBAM] until health and environmental studies are done. -more-


Council Considers Ballot Measures; Public to Speak On Fee Increases

By Judith Scherr
Friday May 16, 2008 - 05:03:00 PM

The City Council will consider on Tuesday which tax measures to place before voters on the November ballot. -more-


B-Tech Student Shot in Berkeley

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 07:16:00 PM

A Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) student was shot near Martin Luther King Jr. and Dwight Way around 3 p.m. today (Thursday), according to authorities. -more-


Update: Suspect Arrested in Durant Avenue Killing

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 04:52:00 PM
Nathaniel Freeman

Berkeley police arrested 19-year-old Berkeley resident Nathaniel Curtis Freeman Wednesday afternoon and charged him with the murder of Maceo Anthony Smith, who was shot to death on Durant Avenue Tuesday. -more-


Vandalism Hits Oakland City Council Race, Tempers Flare

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 02:19:00 PM

In a campaign that has grown increasingly heated as it moves towards the June 3 election day showdown, vandals struck at the Fruitvale-area campaign headquarters of 5th District Council candidate Mario Juarez last Friday night, smashing windows and window doors and causing an estimated $15,000 in damage. -more-


Berkeley Man Killed in Durant Avenue Shooting

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:23:00 AM

Police are searching for a suspect connected with the murder of Maceo Smith, 33, found shot to death in broad daylight at the Douglas Parking Lot at 2542 Durant Ave. Tuesday, a block from UC Berkeley. -more-


Bates Privatizes State of the City Address

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:25:00 AM

Breaking with tradition, Mayor Tom Bates made his “state-of-the-city” address Tuesday night, not at a public gathering in City Council Chambers, but at a semi-private event held in a privately owned West Berkeley auditorium. -more-


City Council to UC Regents: Proposed Labs Endanger Wildlife, Humans

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:26:00 AM

More than two dozen people spoke to the City Council with one voice at a special meeting Monday night: placing two buildings proposed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the environmentally sensitive, landslide, wildfire and earthquake-prone area of Strawberry and Blackberry canyons is the wrong thing to do, they said. -more-


Neighbors Fear College Avenue Safeway Expansion Plans

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

Walk into La Farine on Oakland’s bustling College Avenue for coffee and croissants and it’s easy to spot several pamphlets floating around on a big round table—the only one in the store—drawing attention to the proposed expansion at Safeway, across the street from the petite French bakery. -more-


S. Berkeley Crime Meeting Reflects Neighborhood Concerns

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:27:00 AM

The safest place to be in Berkeley on Wednesday night last week was likely the community center at San Pablo Park. -more-


Even with Salaries, City Budget Looks Balanced—For Now

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

While the city’s $315 million 2008-09 budget appeared balanced earlier this week, Berkeley was anticipating bad news by Wednesday afternoon, when the governor addressed state budget woes. -more-


Props. 98 and 99 Battle over Eminent Domain

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:34:00 AM

In the March presidential primary election, Alameda County voters faced a confused choice in which two similar but different-in-detail ballot propositions—Measure A and Measure B—sought approval for a special Children’s Hospital building fund tax. In part because of that confusion, voters responded by overwhelmingly rejecting both measures. -more-


EBMUD Declares Water Shortage

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:36:00 AM

The East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) Board of Directors declared a water shortage emergency on Tuesday and adopted a drought management plan to reduce water use by 15 percent. -more-


Court Date Set for UC Murder Case

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:37:00 AM

Andrew Hoeft-Edenfield, the Berkeley City College student charged with murdering UC Berkeley engineering student Chris Wootton, did not enter a plea last week when he appeared at the Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland. -more-


U-Haul Takes City to Court Again Over San Pablo Site

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:40:00 AM

Although the Berkeley City Council declared the U-Haul location at 2100 San Pablo Ave. to be a nuisance and voted unanimously in October to shut it down, the business is suing the city a second time to keep its doors open. -more-


Suspects Arrested In Bank Robbery

By Bay City News
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

Four suspects stole $6,000 from the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union at 2001 Ashby Ave. in Berkeley shortly before noon Tuesday, and were later arrested in Oakland, according to Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss. -more-


News Briefs

By Judith Scherr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:41:00 AM

Monterey Court Stops LBAM Spray -more-


Airsoft Gun from BHS Robbery Found in Old Gym

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:42:00 AM

Berkeley police have recovered the airsoft gun allegedly belonging to the 17-year-old Berkeley High School junior who was arrested for robbing a sophomore Wednesday. -more-


Man Threatens Students With Knife

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:44:00 AM

Berkeley police arrested an Oakland resident last week, after charging that he punched a Berkeley High sophomore in the chest, pulled out a knife and chased a group of students through downtown Berkeley to the gates of the school. -more-


Architect Chosen For Iceland Project

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:45:00 AM

A non-profit group fundraising to buy Berkeley Iceland picked Page & Turnbull as architects to restore the landmarked site. -more-


Berkeley, Richmond Council Target Lab Projects

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:22:00 AM

While Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has made minor changes to its plans for its planned biofuel lab, the project’s recently released environmental impact review (EIR) rejects any move to another site. -more-


UC Captures $20 Million Stem Cell Grant

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:46:00 AM

UC Berkeley and 11 other California institutions will share $271 million in state bond funds slated for construction of stem cell research labs, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine announced last week. Berkeley’s share will be $20.1 million, with total costs to get the campus facility up and running within two years estimated at $92.6 million. -more-


Opinion

Editorials

Editorial: The Art and Science of Living Well

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:29:00 AM

When you get to be a certain age, news of death comes all too often. It’s been only a week or so since we mused on the loss of a couple of good friends in this space, and now another good man is gone. Readers, especially younger readers, might be getting tired of all this talk of death. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

The Editor's Back Fence

By Becky O'Malley
Tuesday May 20, 2008 - 12:20:00 PM

Every week a new experiment...this week, we're trying out a Web-only column of short items. People send us things that are not serious enough or big enough or current enough for a full-fledged news story or a full-dress editorial essay, but are too good to pass up. And increasingly they send us links to good stuff in other Internet locations which Planet readers would like to see. -more-


Cartoons

Stubborn Ass

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 03:20:00 PM

Going Berzerkeley

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 29, 2008 - 03:21:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:32:00 AM

ATHLETIC FIELDS -more-


Letters to the Editor

Monday May 19, 2008 - 04:01:00 PM

ARKANSAS COUPLE TAKES PET DONKEY -more-


Join Protests Against John Yoo This Saturday

By Henry Norr
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

Pleased with the thought that your tax dollars are paying John Yoo, the former Justice Department attorney whose memos provided pseudo-legal cover for the Bush administration’s torture policies, to mold the minds of future lawyers? -more-


BRT: It’s Big; It’s Boondogglicious — Let the Voters Decide!

By Gale Garcia
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 12:17:00 PM

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is AC Transit’s plan for a massive project including Telegraph Avenue and parts of Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Two traffic lanes would be allocated to AC Transit buses, forcing all other vehicles (cars, bikes, trucks, motorcycles) to share just one lane each way. Most of the parking on Telegraph would disappear, to the chagrin of the local merchants. -more-


Commentary: Call for a Moratorium on the Approval of Cell Antenna Applications

By Michael Barglow
Monday May 19, 2008 - 04:07:00 PM

Once again, Berkeley’s position on cell antennas is on the City Council agenda. -more-


40 Years After Paris, Can Mass Protests Still Make a Difference?

By Randy Shaw
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:54:00 AM

On May 13, 1968, students, workers, and activists marched through the streets of Paris to challenge the nation’s social, economic, and political structures. The marches were a prelude to what became a two-week general strike, the impact of which remains hotly debated to this day. The events of May 1968 were not the world’s first mass protests, but their role in the subsequent alteration of French society was widely hailed as proving the power of political action outside the electoral process. The United States also saw mass protests in 1968, but their failure to end the Vietnam War and the election of Richard Nixon that November left many activists frustrated. The successful WTO protests in Seattle reasserted the power of mass protest, but this appears to have dissipated as the Bush Administration invaded Iraq despite millions taking to the streets and the federal government failed to legalize undocumented immigrants despite the mass protests of the spring of 2006. Can mass protest still make a difference in the United States, or is the electoral process—embodied in the mass involvement of those in the Obama campaign—now seen as the leading if not exclusive route to progressive change? -more-


10 Reasons Why I’m Supporting Worthington for Assembly

By Nancy Carleton
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:55:00 AM

In his 11-plus years on City Council, Kriss Worthington has been such an effective leader on so many issues that it would be easy to come up with a list of well over a hundred reasons he’s earned my support in his bid for a state Assembly seat. Here are just 10 of them: -more-


Yes on Proposition 98, No on Proposition 99

By Robert Cabrera
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:56:00 AM

Proposition 98 in the June 3 ballot is good for tenants. It phases out rent controls on a unit only when that unit becomes voluntarily vacant. Via Prop. 98, the local rent law is folded into the state constitution and the current tenant is protected from any changes in the law. Changes do happen: the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, undermined rent control in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, and other California cities. Many people say that if 98 passes then there will be mass evictions. This same claim was made prior to the passage of vacancy decontrol (Costa-Hawkins) in the mid ’90s, but the evictions never materialized. It is nearly impossible to evict a tenant and Prop. 98 does not change that fact. -more-


No on Prop. 98, Yes on Prop. 99

By John Katz
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Proposition 98 is a deceptive and very dangerous initiative that will be on the June 2008 ballot in California. Hiding behind some legitimate concerns about the potential misuse of eminent domain by local governments, this constitutional amendment if enacted would eliminate all rent control on any new unit anywhere in the state, including mobile homes. Its hidden provisions would also preclude the construction of new water supply projects, gut many environmental laws, and make most zoning laws unenforceable. -more-


Reasons to Vote for Hancock for State Senate

By Mim Hawley
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:02:00 AM

Fortunately for all of us in the East Bay, Loni Hancock is running to continue to represent us in Sacramento by seeking a seat in the state Senate. I hope you’ll join me in supporting the campaign for this remarkable woman whose contributions to Berkeley are historic and who will long be revered as a path-breaking leader. -more-


‘Rapid Bus Plus’— An Alternative to Bus Rapid Transit

By Berkeleyans for Better Transportation Options
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:03:00 AM

Editor’s note: This is a summary of the complete proposal, which is available on the Planet’s website, www.berkeleydailyplanet.com. -more-


Hancock: The Developers’ Ally

By Martha Nicoloff
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:04:00 AM

Most people who know of Loni Hancock remember her as mayor of Berkeley, from 1988 to 1995. At that time she faced very real and important criticisms for the way she ran the city. -more-


Progressive: Now It’s Just a Convenient Name Tag

By Dave Blake
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:06:00 AM

The battle for political control in Berkeley has been handily dominated by progressives for 20 years. But that victory was consolidated not in the body of a party but in the persons of Mayor Tom Bates and Assemblymember Loni Hancock. Many of those of us who have watched and participated in that consolidation are astounded at how few of the purposes that founded our progressive efforts survive today. When a progressive government hands out $7 million favors to a major businessman at the direct expense of the right of his workers to unionize, something has gone horribly awry. -more-


How AC Transit Can Cut Expenses Instead Of Raising Fares

By Joyce Roy
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:07:00 AM

Just before their May 21 public meeting on raising fares, AC Transit is proposing to buy more Van Hool buses the riders and drivers hate. Nineteen more of the no-bid buses imported from Belgium at $577,739/bus for a total of $10,977,041. -more-


Columns

The Public Eye: Clinton’s Last Stand

By Bob Burnett
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:47:00 AM

Tuesday, May 6, was the decisive night in the struggle for the Democratic nomination. It provided new insight into the character of the two competitors. -more-


UnderCurrents: Oakland’s Traffic Stop Crime Fighting Policy Continues

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:49:00 AM

From all over Oakland this winter and spring, there have been calls for a crackdown on the city’s crime and violence, with police being allowed to fill in the details, at their discretion, of how such crackdown will be carried out. -more-


East Bay, Then and Now: Schweinfurth’s First Unitarian: A Powerhouse of a Church

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:23:00 AM
The west façade is a gigantic gable supported by two unpeeled redwood trunks. The church now serves as the university’s dance studio.

“The First Unitarian Church of Berkeley was founded on Sunday, July 12, 1891, in space rented from the Berkeley Odd Fellows Temple, then on Shattuck [Avenue], a couple of blocks south of its present location. Some have said that this first meeting was held in a saloon on the first floor, but if so, suitable quarters were found for subsequent meetings.” -more-


Wild Neighbors: UC and Strawberry Canyon: Last Round for the Whipsnake?

By Joe Eaton
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:27:00 AM

Once more into Strawberry Canyon, and then I’ll try to get back to the natural-history beat. -more-


About the House: On Thinking Small

By Matt Cantor
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:29:00 AM

It’s funny how a word can suddenly start popping up wherever you go. I was in a spinning class the other day (No, I’ve not taken up knitting. Well, actually I have, but that’s another story). This was one of those classes where a bunch of people who should otherwise be too embarrassed, actually manage to show up in spandex and pedal feverishly to absolutely nowhere for an hour, accomplishing nothing except to have become more conversant in the latest techno-pop noise. All in all, it’s quite fun but, as usual, I digress. During the class, our fearless leader, Marjorie, uttered the work parsimonious. I have a feeling Marjorie has been thinking about things parsimonious and it sort of fell out of the bag. -more-


Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:15:00 AM

THURSDAY, MAY 15 -more-


Eastenders Perform Three Vanek Plays

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Planet
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:09:00 AM

Principles, principles—you’re making a fortune ... who’s going to write about me?” So a brewmaster (Jeff Thomas), swilling his wares in an office, complains to dissident playwright Vanek (Craig Souza), his would-be protege whom he’s called in from the cellars for a chat and a stein, in the first one of the Eastenders’ production of three Vaclav Havel one-acts. Three Vanek Plays: Audience, Unveiling, and Protest, is in its final weekend at the Berkeley Jewish Community Center on Walnut Street. -more-


Arts Around the East Bay

Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:11:00 AM

ED REED AT THE BIRD’S NEST -more-


Bach Soloists at 1st Congregational This Saturday

By Ken Bullock, Special to The Plane
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:15:00 AM

Baroque trumpeter John Thiessen joins the American Bach Soloists, conducted by Jeffrey Thomas, Saturday, 8 p.m., at the First Congregational Church, Channing Way at Dana, for an end of season program that pays tribute to two contemporaries of Bach—Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758) and Guiseppe Torelli (1658-1709)— and also playing “Mr. Handel’s Water Piece,” as well as Telemann’s own Water Music, celebrating seafaring life in 18th century Hamburg, and Bach’s Sixth Brandenburg Concerto, “a virtual quadruple concerto for violas and violas da gamba.” -more-


Moving Pictures:‘Flight of the Balloon’: Updating a Classic

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:17:00 AM

Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge, 1956) was a film about the trials, tribulations and escapist fantasies of a child. Pascal and the red balloon were companions, and it was that friendship that sustained the boy throughout his daily travails of school and bullies and boredom. Lamorisse created a small masterpiece which managed to work on two levels: as an alluring evocation of the escapist fantasies of youth, and as a moving depiction of the day-to-day realities that make that escape so enticing. -more-


‘Queenie Pie,’ Ellington’s Only Opera, Performed with Shelby Jazz Orchestra

By Jaime Robles, Special to the Planet
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:19:00 AM

With a creamy smooth trumpet rising over the exotic beat and slightly moody sound, giving over to the close couple dance of flute and bass and followed by an ultra cool sax solo, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra swung into the big band sound of Ellington in the Oakland Opera Theater’s ebullient production of Queenie Pie, the jazz master’s only opera. -more-


This Old Band, Shaheed Play Sunday For Free at 4th Street Jazz Festival

By Ira Steingroot, Special to the Planet
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:20:00 AM

If you yearn for the days when jazz was played on the streets of New Orleans for free, and all you had to do to join the second line was to get with it and dance to the beat, you will not want to miss hearing the top-rated artists who will be performing al fresco and without charge at the 12th annual Jazz on Fourth Street Festival this Sunday. -more-


East Bay, Then and Now: Schweinfurth’s First Unitarian: A Powerhouse of a Church

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:23:00 AM
The west façade is a gigantic gable supported by two unpeeled redwood trunks. The church now serves as the university’s dance studio.

“The First Unitarian Church of Berkeley was founded on Sunday, July 12, 1891, in space rented from the Berkeley Odd Fellows Temple, then on Shattuck [Avenue], a couple of blocks south of its present location. Some have said that this first meeting was held in a saloon on the first floor, but if so, suitable quarters were found for subsequent meetings.” -more-


Wild Neighbors: UC and Strawberry Canyon: Last Round for the Whipsnake?

By Joe Eaton
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:27:00 AM

Once more into Strawberry Canyon, and then I’ll try to get back to the natural-history beat. -more-


About the House: On Thinking Small

By Matt Cantor
Thursday May 15, 2008 - 10:29:00 AM

It’s funny how a word can suddenly start popping up wherever you go. I was in a spinning class the other day (No, I’ve not taken up knitting. Well, actually I have, but that’s another story). This was one of those classes where a bunch of people who should otherwise be too embarrassed, actually manage to show up in spandex and pedal feverishly to absolutely nowhere for an hour, accomplishing nothing except to have become more conversant in the latest techno-pop noise. All in all, it’s quite fun but, as usual, I digress. During the class, our fearless leader, Marjorie, uttered the work parsimonious. I have a feeling Marjorie has been thinking about things parsimonious and it sort of fell out of the bag. -more-


Community Calendar

Thursday May 15, 2008 - 09:38:00 AM

THURSDAY, MAY 15 -more-


City Offers Help with Condo Law

Tuesday May 20, 2008 - 05:09:00 PM

With the city’s new condominium conversion taking effect Thursday, the city’s Planning and Development Department is holding a workshop on the new law that same afternoon. -more-